Bow Lake, Bow Hut, Bow Glacier Falls

Bow Lake, Bow Hut, Bow Glacier Falls near Banff, AB

This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars
15 kms
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking, Snowshoeing
Summer, Fall, Winter
Banff, AB
User vpigeon
We did this trail as a hike in mid September, 2007. We met some people along the trail who indicated they've been up to the hut in the winter, on skis, and skied back down, on the snow covered creek.

We give it a 3 star rating because there is considerable scrambling over poorly marked rock slides on the way to Bow Hut. It does however have good redeeming features, such as the gorge, the views in the canyon along the creek up to the hut, and of course Bow Glacier Falls.

We give it a "Difficult" rating because of the limestone boulder to cross over the gorge which can deter many, the difficult scrambling over 3 poorly marked rock slides, and the very steep scramble up to the hut.

The 3 km walk around Bow Lake is stunning, both for the lake and the views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. It starts at historic Num Ti Jah Lodge ( and circles around the north and west side of the lake. You then arrive at the gorge, and decide whether to go to the Bow Glacier Falls, or to Bow Hut. We did both.

Climbing over the limestone boulder, we took the south route and headed towards the hut. This involved going through 3 rock slides, which we found to be poorly marked. We actually did not make it right to the hut. We stopped approx 1 km away, before the final steep scramble up to the hut. For access to the hut, contact the Alpine Club of Canada (

On the way back, we forded the Bow Hut creek just above the gorge where it meets Bow Glacier Creek and headed southwest towards Bow Glacier Falls, seen in the distance. We walked the area between the 2 creeks, looking for a spot to cross to the west side of Bow Glacier Creek (and avoid having to cross back over the limestone boulder at the gorge). We crossed far upstream, barefoot, where the creek is very shallow, and walked right up to the falls. We then headed back on the west side of Bow Glacier Creek, and rejoined the main trail at the gorge, then back to the trailhead at Num-Ti-Jah Lodge.


Drive up the Columbia Icefields Highway approx 40 km north from the TC Hway at Lake Louise, and park at the trailhead at Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. Head west 300m or so between the lodge and the beach and you'll find the actual trailhead.


Please check the bottom of the Description (above left; click) for the author's written directions.

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By bfcoffeyPosted By: bfcoffey  - Tue Feb 24 00:30:17 UTC 2009 Not Rated Upside Num Ti Jah is at Bow Lake. This area receives lots of snow every year. Snowshoes, skiis, crampons, any or all are recommended, depends on where you go from the lodge.
By bellacaleighPosted By: bellacaleigh  - Fri Feb 20 18:29:46 UTC 2009 Not Rated Question I was actually just wondering the exact length in km, to Bow Lake from the parking lot at Num Ti-Jah? And if it is possible to hike there in the dead of winter without snowshoes or crampons.

ANSWERS are in this forum:  Num Ti-Jah

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